Christian Worldview Essay Contest
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ESSAY CONTEST DESCRIPTION
“The Bible says that when you become
a Christian your mind is renewed, and so with that renewing of
your mind comes a new view of the world in which you live.”
~ László Tokés
We are pleased to announce the eighth annual Christian
Worldview Essay Contest, held in honor of László Tokés.
By entering this contest, you have the chance to win an award of
$1000. The runner-up will receive an award of $500.
If you are currently a junior or senior, you are invited to submit
an essay that engages with a topic or issue that is of interest
to you from the perspective of your Christian faith. You may engage
a contemporary issue or an historical event or development with
contemporary relevance. Examples of issues include: poverty, race
relations, healthcare, consumerism, education, HIV/AIDS, and marriage.
The essay should reflect research and knowledge about the issue
itself along with the application of a biblical Christian worldview
to the issue. (To read more about a Christian worldview, see shaded
section below.) Your essay may be an adaptation of a paper that
you have already written, so long as you engage the subject in
your essay from an explicitly Christian perspective. It needs to
be at least six pages, double-spaced, in length.
If you would like to apply, please submit an entry form and essay by
the posted deadline. To be eligible to apply, you must be a junior or
senior who plans to graduate May 2013 through December 2014.
Previous winners are ineligible.
- MS Word document/ Title page should include:
- "Christian Worldview Essay"
- [Essay Title]
- [Your Name]
- [Date of Submission]
- 12-point font
- 6-10 pages in length not including title page
- Your essay may be an adaptation of a paper that you have already
written, so long as you engage the subject in your essay from
an explicitly Christian perspective.
- You must currently be a junior or senior who
is planning to graduate May 2013 through December 2014.
- Previous winners are ineligible.
This contest was made possible by the vision and donation of a
Hope alumna. It is held in honor of László Tokés,
a pastor in the Hungarian Reformed Church whose consistent faithfulness
to his Christian convictions and calling sparked a revolution that
led to the downfall of the Communist Regime in Romania in 1989.
It is being facilitated by the CrossRoads Project.
*Please be aware that monetary scholarships must be reported to
the Hope College Office of Financial Aid and may have an impact
on a student's financial aid package.
Deadline: Monday, February
24, 2014 - 12:00 pm
Background information about László Tokés**
Religious freedom was severely restricted during the regime of
Nicolae Ceausescu in Romania, with government authorities controlling
what was taught and preached in churches. László Tokés
criticized Ceausescu and his oppressive government for starving
the Romanian people while he faithfully preached and served his
congregation in Timisoara. The church grew dramatically under his
leadership despite the presence of secret police and armed agents
around and in the church building. When the government tried to
exile Tokés to a remote village, he refused to leave, even
under the threat of force. Members of his church and members of
churches throughout the town gathered together in front of Tokés’ home
on the day the government had scheduled his eviction--Catholics,
Orthodox, Baptists, Pentecostals, and Reformed; Hungarians, Romanians,
and Germans stood side by side in solidarity. Tokes spoke to them
from his window, saying “We are one in Christ. We speak different
languages, but we have the same Bible and the same God. We are
one.” The protest that began at that small church moved to
the central square of Timisoara and then spread to other parts
of Romania. A week later, by Christmas of 1989, the Ceausescu regime
What is a Christian worldview?
László Tokés has written that Christianity
involves a renewing of our minds that leads us to view the world
in which we live from a new perspective, informed by our Christian
faith and convictions. This essay offers you the opportunity to
explore how your Christian faith impacts and informs your view
of an issue in this world. It asks you to apply a biblical Christian
worldview to the issue or topic that you choose to address.
One writer has suggested that a worldview is similar to a pair
of sunglasses, in that the tint of sunglasses colors everything
we see. Similarly, our worldview impacts how we look at things
and what we see. As Christians look at the world, their perspective
is informed by their understanding of the created nature of the
world and of human beings, the reality of sinfulness and brokenness,
the redemption brought in and through Jesus Christ, and the hope
we have as we await the full restoration of creation and humanity.
In this essay you are invited to explore how your Christian worldview
impacts your understanding of a topic or an issue. As you engage
with the topic you have chosen, think about how your view of the
world is informed by your beliefs about such things as creation,
the fall, and redemption. Think about how these beliefs impact
your perspective on the particular issue you are exploring. As
you write, try to integrate this Christian perspective into your
engagement with the issue at hand.
Here are some other thoughts on worldviews to keep in mind as
A worldview is a set of beliefs about the most important issues
in life. The philosophical systems of great thinkers such as Plato
and Aristotle were worldviews. Every mature rational human being…has
his or her own worldview just as surely as Plato did…Achieving
awareness of our worldview is one of the most important things
we can do…A worldview is a conceptual scheme by which we
consciously or unconsciously place or fit everything we believe
and by which we interpret and judge reality.
~Ronald Nash, Worldviews in Conflict: Choosing Christianity in a World
A people’s world view is their way of thinking about life
and the world, coupled with the values they set for themselves
in the context of that way of thinking. The Japanese have a world
view which shapes their lives together, the Canadian Dene Indians
have one, the majority culture in North America has one, and so
forth. There is also a Christian world view, not indeed embodied
clearly in any extant society but expressed in the Scriptures.
To adopt Christianity with authenticity is to be a person of faith
who embraces that biblical world view…. This is a world view
for shaping all of life and not just for shaping some “religious” or “spiritual” or “sacred” corner
~Nicholas Wolterstorff, “Foreword,” The Transforming Vision:
Shaping a Christian World View
What do we mean when we say that Christianity is a worldview?
What we mean is that the Christian faith is a philosophical tapestry
of interdependent ideas, principles and metaphysical claims that
are derived from the Hebrew-Christian Scriptures as well as the
creeds, theologies, communities, ethical norms and institutions
that have flourished under the authority of these writings. These
beliefs are not mere utterances of private religious devotion but
are propositions whose proponents claim accurately instruct us
on the nature of the universe, human persons, our relationship
with God, human communities and the moral life.
~Francis J. Beckwith, William Lane Craig and J.P. Moreland, editors.
To Everyone an Answer: A Case for the Christian Worldview
For our purposes, worldview will be defined as “the comprehensive
framework of one’s basic beliefs about things.”...[T]hings
is a deliberately vague term that refers to anything about which
it is possible to have a belief. I am taking it in the most general
sense imaginable, as encompassing the world, human life in general,
the meaning of suffering, the value of education, social morality,
and the importance of the family. Even God can in this sense be
said to be included among the ‘things’ about which
we have basic beliefs.
~Albert M. Wolters, Creation Regained: Biblical Basics for a Reformational
Christian Worldview Essay Award Winners - New Name! Now
open to all juniors & seniors, $1,000 & $500
2012: First Place, Brooke McDonald ~
Second Place, Kevin Watson
László Tokés Essay Award Winners
(Awarded to juniors in the spring for their senior year) $750
2011-2012: Kalli Shades and Erica
2010-2011: Emily Feldhake
2009-2010: Grace Olson and Jeffrey
2008-2009: Cara Hahn and Brandon
2007-2008: Smantha Miller, David
Nyitray, and Matthew Wixson
2006-2007: Nicole Brace and William